CBS NEWS – A couple of Harvard scientists say that a huge, quick visitor to our solar system may have been a probe sent by a foreign civilization. Most astronomers believe that Oumuamua is a Hawaiian for "messenger" or "scout" – a comet or an asteroid, except half a mile long. But there are things about your behavior that can not be fully explained. Enter two Harvard scientists with the idea, although they admit that there is little there, reports CBS News Tony Dokoupil.
When Oumuamua was discovered last October, it sank past the sun at 196,000 km / h. Some reddish object looked like a cigar. Others thought it was designed as a pancake.
"It looks very different from the objects we found in the solar system," said Avi Loeb, Chair of Astronomy at Harvard University. Loeb said that Oumuamu did not behave like an ordinary asteroid or emitted gas as a comet.
"It seemed to be an additional force pushing it, and it's not clear what this move is," he added.
In the upcoming contribution, he and his colleague offer what they call "a more exotic scenario … Oumuamua can be a fully operational probe that it deliberately sends to the surrounding civilization of a foreign civilization."
According to their calculations, Oumuamua is less than a millimeter thin, but very wide as a sailboat that uses solar radiation to propel itself – similar to the space ship used by Count Dooku in Star Wars.
"I just want to take it with a huge salt grain," said Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. She said that Oumuamu did not publish any signals indicating that it was a spacecraft.
"If you say that the top 10 list of explanations does not include foreign probes, what's in this list of top 10 explanations?" He asked Dokoupil.
"It's a comet or an asteroid or a stone," Faherty said.
"Where is the foreign civilization in the list of explanations?"
"I do not know, really low, really low, real, really low," said Faherty.
Faherty doubts that the appearance of Oumuamua means that we are on the verge of foreign meetings, such as this one in the film "Arrival".
"Oumuamua, as it stands, is a phenomenal discovery and a truly important goal for astronomers to learn and to get the audience up," said Faherty. "It's okay there are no aliens."
Oumuamua is now so far that we can no longer see this with our satellites. Faherty had the theory of why there are still exotic explanations: it is so difficult to understand the existence of aliens, it is obviously even more difficult to understand the idea that we are ourselves.